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Chappell admits making finger gesture in Kolkata

According to a report, the coach termed behaviour of Kolkata crowd as "bizzare" and said the footage was not doctored.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2005 14:38 IST

Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell has admitted to making the finger gesture to a crowd of fans here, even as the team management claimed otherwise.

"Yes, I did," Chappell was quoted as saying by an English newspaper from Kolkata on Sunday.a

When asked if the gesture was aimed at the crowd, he said: "I do not think I need to specify the reason to you."

Chappell's own admission of the middle finger act came after the Indian team's media manager Wing Commander M. Baladitya Saturday tried to put a lid on the controversy saying Chappell was attending to his hurt middle finger after a practice session ahead of the fourth one-dayer against South Africa here Friday.

Chappell said the footage, first captured by a local production house of a sports capsule and later sold to mainline news channels, was not doctored.

He also termed the behaviour of the Kolkata crowd as "bizzare".

The cricket fans and cricketing community of West Bengal were livid over the Chappell act since Friday when the footage was shown on television channels.

Since Friday night, Baladitya had been maintaining that "Greg had hurt his finger in the field during a practice session on Thursday and he was tending it while boarding the bus."

"Greg did not make any obscene gesture at the crowd and the incident has been blown out of proportion," Baladitya had said.

The controversial TV footage showed Greg Chappell "sticking his middle finger out" to Chappell-booing fans of Sourav Ganguly shouting the name of the former captain outside the Eden Garden stadium while boarding a bus after practice session Thursday.

Chappell had angered Ganguly's fans after he had questioned the former skipper's form and his place in the Indian team. Ganguly later lost his place in the team for the one-day international series, further angering the state's cricket enthusiasts.

The former Australian cricketer had been provided extra security arrangements during his stay in the city as police apprehended trouble from Ganguly's fans.

First Published: Nov 27, 2005 11:14 IST